October 1845-July 1846

The Collected Letters, Volume 20


TC TO JANE WELSH CARLYLE ; 17 October 1845; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18451017-TC-JWC-01; CL 20: 28-29


Seaforth, Friday 17 Octr / 1845—

My dear Goodykin,—You have been much peppered with little discrepant Notes shot at you lately, and no reply possible; but this present one is to say that I am now actually coming home,—by the train you came by (for there is no improvement to be made upon it; they all take 9 hours up, I think): 11 o'clock, which will bring me home about ten, that night, I hope,—would I were there, and had hold of Goodykin again!

You got the Note addressed by me, and written by Jamie, to say that I was actually off by the Carlisle Coach? My adventures since that have been altogether prosperous: but the Steamer itself was a wonderful business! First, the good Mrs Paulet, in spite of my prohibition did send the carriage: carriage waited till past midnight, no Steamer came; the Steamer did not arrive till Noon next day (yesterday), and the carriage was again there, to no purpose! They do not seem to care for all that botheration, the kind souls. As for myself I am right glad I chanced to escape that detestable Cattle Ship: four-and-twenty hours there would have almost driven me mad.

Yesterday morning I found myself in the little bedroom of the Inn at Lancaster,1 where at 2 o'clock last I had thrown myself down very weary; there being no train on to Liverpool till the morrow. I had then the choice either to come round hither, according to partial bargain, or to go dashing direct home. I hope you duly appreciate my magnanimity in deciding for the call of duty. At half past 4 o'clock here, after a pleasant journey, I found a most Cordial Welcome. The[re]2 lay also a very kind Letter from Mrs Stanley; but, as you will see, it contained room for an excuse: so I write today, after studying the railway and myself, “I answer, ce n'est pas possible [it is not possible].” Alderley is not her house, it seems, so I ought not to go, even if I liked, till asked by the real Mistress.3 But I describe myself as bound “to be home tomorrow,” could have come to Alderly today, had there &c &c.

Whether your Uncle is in Town yet I have not learned; but shall in an hour; Mrs Paulet is going to take me, in spite of the wind. Poor Paulet is almost totally blind! They seem to be both coming up to London, to have an operation tried, next week.4 It is very grievous for poor Paulet; puts the House itself into kind of eclipsed state. Adieu, Dearest. I wonder if there will be any kiss for me tomorrow!

T. C.